The Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League have named a new head coach, their second in franchise history. Randy Velischek will take over as bench boss of the defending Isobel Cup champions for the 2018-19 season. He replaces the departing Chad Wiseman.
Velischek, a Montreal native, should be a familiar name to Devils fans too, having played for the team from the 1985-86 season through the 1989-90 season. He also played in the NHL for the Minnesota North Stars and the Quebec Nordiques.
Following his retirement, he served as a radio color analyst for the Devils on WABC for 11 years. According to Mike F. Lopez of SBNation, “(h)e is currently the hockey director at Twin Oaks Rink in Morristown, N.J.” Lopez mentions that he has coached boys youth hockey for 28 years, but this is his first foray into the women’s game.
The Riveters have also announced Velischek’s assistant coach. Kate Whitman Annis will serve in that role. According to Lopez, she is a New Jersey native who played “for Deerfield Academy and Wesleyan University.” While at Wesleyan, she won “three conference titles.”
Following college, she coached “at the Essex Hunt Club and Bridgewater Sports Arena.” She was then named the varsity coach for girls’ hockey at Pingry School. Lopez noted that Velischek also worked at the Pingry School during the 2007-08 season.
Velischek was quoted in the Lopez article as saying at his introductory press conference: “I’m honored to coach these outstanding, dedicated, inspiring hockey players. I’m well aware of the program Chad [Wiseman] started. It’s my responsibility to continue the Riveters’ tradition, and help every one of these gifted athletes maximize their potential. I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
According to Lopez, the Riveters open their 2018-19 season on October 6 at the expansion Minnesota Whitecaps.